Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bush Visits the Gem State


President Bush was in tiny Valley County, Idaho today, visiting a new resort for the ultrarich -- beneficiaries of his tax cuts, donors to his campaigns -- which happens to be just a few miles from my mother's home (the latter structure being a three-room A-frame built with a slightly thriftier budget in mind). I mention this mainly because it's interesting to me.

(My parents, for what it's worth, hid out in Boise during his visit.)

There was, however, a surreal exchange that I'll excerpt here in toto.

Q What else are you going to do? Are you going to be bike today?

THE PRESIDENT: I may bike today. I've been on the phone all morning. I spent a little time with the CIA man this morning, catching up on the events of the world. And as I said, I talked to Condi a couple of times. Tonight I'm going to be dining with the Governor and the delegation from Idaho, spend a little quality time with the First Lady here in this beautiful part of the world. I may go for a bike ride.

Q Any fishing?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know yet. I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm kind of hanging loose, as they say. (Laughter.)

All right, I've got to go. Thank you.

This was the last of the press briefing, most of which was consumed with questions about Iraq. On those issues, Bush answered with admirable lack of substance. But perhaps the real truth was to be found in these comments. Let's break it down:

I may bike today. Bush has a lot on his plate. Of the many serious activities he's considering while vacationing on his vacation are biking, "quality time" with Laura, and dining. But wait, what about presiding?

Not to worry: I spent a little time with the CIA man this morning, catching up on the events of the world. Well, as long as he spent a few minutes with the CIA man. (I'm guessing--though you never know--that he wasn't an agent assigned to cover Bush's vacationing team. But maybe it was just an agent he was bullshitting with while waiting for press to set up their cameras.)

I'm kind of hanging loose. That one speaks for itself, doesn't it? Tell the boys in Iraq not to worry--the Prez is spending a little time with the CIA man and hanging loose. All is well in hand.

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